Posts Tagged ‘Trickery’

Eric Yahnker

Published June 10, 2010 by Molly




Conceptual art—well, maybe all art—should sock you in the gut and then hypnotize you. In that order. Eric Yahnker’s work is a one-two emotional/intellectual punch that combines immaculate craftsmanship with a brain of intimidating powers.

Witness <0 - 101 (above), a work that combines various media with numerical titles into a sequential order from “Less Than Zero” to “101 Dalmatians”. Or the artist’s colored-pencil commentaries on dianetics and Lance Armstrong. Or the beheaded John Wayne in tennis gear.

Yahnker’s work deals with death, neuropathology and the mucky vicissitudes of life in a manner that combines high-concept trickery with immediate visual appeal. Go forth, wanderer, and click heedlessly.

Christopher Svensson

Published March 26, 2010 by Molly

Picture 3

Picture 1

Picture 2

Christopher Svensson’s work is conceptually, visually and imaginatively awesome. These qualities often appear individually in artists and designers, or *maybe* in conjunction with one other, but it’s rare to find all three in the same person. Call the search off!

Happily, Svensson documents his work for us online. A few highlights include his useful information graphic poster comparing the sound qualities of the Neil Young song “Cinnamon Girl” in two different audio formats, a series of knit works based on internet memes, book interventions (see here), and another infographic dealing with a signature Phil Spector moment.

The Joy of Things That Aren’t What They Seem

Published September 15, 2009 by Molly

Picture 3

One of the hardest things about childhood is coming to terms with the fact that adults control everything. Pretty much up until your pre-teen years, adults determine where you go, what you do, when you eat and whether or not dessert is an option. The consolations are few––which makes them, of course, all the more important.

By “consolations” we mean small-scale triumphs and tiny deceits. Things like these Ceramic Crinkle Cups from A+R, which look like disposable Dixie cups that mom might scrape off the kitchen floor after a birthday party but were actually made by Netherlands ceramicist Rob Brandt in 1975 as a comment on our consuming culture. Give the set to a kid for his birthday and he’ll treasure the visual trickery it wreaks.

Then there’s LACMA’s Sarcophagus Backpack, which is a ladybug-hued replica of a tomb from the 21st Dynasty (about 1070 – 945 B.C.). You wouldn’t mistake this for an actual relic––it’s far too cuddly for that––but the likeness is deeply satisfying to tote around on your back. It carries the additional pleasure of being an accessory that a non-awesome adult could NEVER pull off, which, as all kids know, is always a sign of quality.